Interested in the intersection between painting and sculpture, Conor Backman creates trompe l’oeil paintings and sculptural works. Although artists have worked with trompe l’oeil—literally meaning to “trick the eye” with hyper-real painting—for hundreds of years, Backman finds in it a modern way to challenge perception, investigating boundaries between original and copy, illusion and reality. In the series “Painting Palettes”, for example, details of palettes used in former paintings are traced onto canvas and rendered in oil. The palette for each painting is located on the same surface as the rendering itself, and sometimes combine with, the represented gesture. The Orangerie (2013) and Limonaia (2013) are paintings of greenhouses behind black Plexiglas, referring to greenhouses and computer screens—symbols of manufactured availability, exempt from seasonal restrictions. A Dark Room (2013) functions as a metaphor for the photographic dark room while pointing to cave dwellings as the site of humankind’s earliest known paintings.